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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Peaceful Purposes

Alexander Proelss

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 September 2021

Subject(s):
Self-defence — Armed conflict — Weapons — Sovereignty — Customary international law — State practice — Disarmament

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 While many international treaties explicitly reserve the use of spaces and exploitation of their resources for peaceful purposes, no uniform and universally accepted definition of the term ‘peaceful purposes’ seems to exist. Possible meanings range from ‘non-aggressive’ to, much more restrictedly, ‘non-military’. The example of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea shows that even under the framework of a single treaty regime, references being made to the peaceful purposes clause do not necessarily bear the same legal meaning (see para. 20 below). Taking into...
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